They say opposites attract, which certainly rang true when it came to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s food preferences. Although the monarch has infamously tame taste buds (no garlic!), her late husband and love of her life liked to get a bit more adventurous.
“Prince Philip [had] a much broader palate than Her Majesty,” former royal chef Darren McGrady spilled in a recent video. “The queen eats to live whereas Prince Philip [lived] to eat.” Of course, tons of couples find themselves at odds while trying to choose a meal to share. As queen, however, Elizabeth’s preferences obviously took precedence in palace kitchens. “It always comes down to, the queen is hosting the meal, so you have everything how she likes it,” McGrady says. If only we all had an actual crown to back up our food battles!
According to the royal chef, that’s also the hilarious reason Philip preferred the times when duty called Elizabeth away from the dinner table — he finally got to eat more flavorful dishes! “When the queen was away on engagements, Prince Philip could taste all of his own favorite ingredients,” McGrady explains. “He loved all that sort of real spicy food… He could explore more and enjoy those when the queen was away.”
Philip also liked bringing new food ideas into the palace from his own travels. “He [got] so excited when he [was] out at a restaurant or in another country on an engagement. He [would] often ask for the recipe,” McGrady says.
The prince enjoyed rolling up his sleeves to whip up a meal himself, too. McGrady remembers a night when Philip walked into the kitchen to ask about what was being prepared for dinner. A fancy lamb dish was on the menu for the royals, but when Philip saw a pile of lamb chops meant for the staff, he decided to take over cooking duties and serve both meals up for everyone. “He actually cooked on the grill that night — he cooked for me!” The moment clearly made an impact on McGrady, who adds with a laugh, “There was I, his chef, I mean, what was I supposed to do, go out and do royal engagements while he was doing my job in the kitchen?”
Take a look at the video below to see how McGrady makes one of Philip’s favorite dishes, salmon coulibiac, plus hear more charming stories from his time with the royal family:
We aren’t sure we’ll be replicating that particular recipe any time soon (our palates aren’t quite adventurous enough to combine salmon and hard boiled eggs…), but we love hearing about these insider moments from McGrady’s palace days — especially when it comes to Prince Philip.